Can vinyl become charged and noisy?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by future pants, May 15, 2019.

  1. future pants

    future pants Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    ny
    hi!

    i have a couple of new, really well-pressed lps (bealtes mono reissues) that played ultra quietly and now play very crackly from start to finish. this is only 2 of them out of a bunch. the rest are still quiet. so i don't think its related to my playing of them. they still look as-new and i've never cleaned them, so it's not a cleaning-fluid residue thing. could this be related to static charge on the record? does static charge on vinyl (as opposed to the dust it attracts) trigger noise during playing? i have tried the milty gun with it, but i don't see a huge difference, but my milty gun is pretty weak.

    1. what happened?
    2. what's the best remedy?
     
    TeleCaster likes this.
  2. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    What are you playing these on? When is the last time you changed your stylus? Is your stylus clean? A static charge could create noise but not extreme amounts of noise IME (not sure if others have experienced extreme noise from static electricity). You can do a test with a styrofoam peanut to see if your Zerostat is working. Hold the record vertically - if the peanut sticks it means that the record is still charged.
     
  3. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'd say next to every single person makes the mistake of looking at LPs with regular light which unfortunately doesn't show imperfections very well. Use a strong white LED light from a cellphone and you'll quickly see if the album is indeed flawless or full of scratches.

    Yes, static can occur on specific albums. In my experience, some can be far more resilient than others in that regard. Having said that, a quick spin on the RCM and the static goes away. Do you have an RCM at all? This would take care of not only the static issue you currently have with those LPs but also in the event the noises you hear are related to junk that has gone into the groove.
     
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  4. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I have not experienced that normally charged records affect the sound. But after some plays attracted particles might.
     
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  5. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    Texas
    mono records can also sound pretty bad with some of the stereo MM carts.

    But yeah, vinyl can have a charge just sitting on a shelf and from being pulled out of a sleeve.
     
  6. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Sure static charge is common on records from handling and activity. A wet clean will help.
    -Bill
     
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  7. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Static charge on a record can cause noise. The noise however will not be the same as normal crackle. A static discharge makes a very loud, treble "snap" kind of sound. (like a loose spark plug wire or touching a door knob after walking on carpet) Static discharge from a record will be intermittent, longer intervals between discharges, usually.

    So, by the symptom you describe, static is an unlikely cause. A crackling record is more likely a damaged groove. (the cracklies can be debris, but also a scored groove makes the same crackling type of sound) The stylus may be chipped, or misaligned, or badly worn. Check the cantilever that it is centered, and not bent. Check the tracking force. Sometimes a set on type of dust cover can get bumped and hit the counterweight, and move it, which makes the arm instantly "heavy".
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    patient_ot likes this.
  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I think in the case of something like the Beatles Mono reissues, they are mono but used a stereo cutter head. While a stereo cart might not be 100% ideal it is not going to create obscene amounts of noise. At least not IME and I own half a dozen of these mono reissues OP is talking about. Before I had a preamp with a mono switch I listened to them normally with a stereo cart.
     
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  9. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Uppsala Sweden
    These.
     
  10. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    The surest way to distinguish increased static charges affecting the signal path from record damage is to stop the record after you hear a louder noise. Play the record over and listen whether the noise occurs at the same point. Static is fairly random although it may be accentuated by certain angles of the tonearm as it travels across the LP.

    I have found static does not always present itself as a loud pop. Sometimes it does seem like scattered mild noisiness of the record itself. I just had a bout of slight noisiness a month ago and was checking the system etc. Then the humidity changed and the system / records are totally silent again.

    If you have rugs you might try to mist them with a slight bit of water from time to time in low humidity.
     
  11. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pisa, Italy
    Here's what I'm doing: a small (Amazon) humidifier close to TT. It prevents those loud POPs or crackles and, I can swear, records sound better!

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. 808_state

    808_state Currently on flame with rock and roll

    Dryer sheets (not in all cases) can be somewhat effective for mitigating static.
     
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  13. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    I live up near a hilly area, and always get afternoon winds. Static is always a problem especially on very windy dry days. My Zerostat get constant use. I use the Zerostat before playing a LP and when flipping sides. I find it rare to get any noise from static. When static noise does happen, its random, does not sound like surface noise, and usually toward the last track of the LP.
     
  14. monte4

    monte4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    If you have a RCM then run the LP's back through it then change the sleeves. If it's static that will take care of it. I've had records that have sucked the felt mat up off the turntable when I take them off because of static electricity and doing the above fixes that.
     
  15. JNTEX

    JNTEX Lava Police

    Location:
    Texas
    I don't own these re-, but I have a ton of mono records....Some stylus profiles simply 'pick up' more noise with a mono record. These are more common in MM carts.

    Proper cleaning would prob solve it.
     
  16. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I believe you are talking about mono records from the 50s or whatever, before stereo cutter heads were in wide use. I have some mono records from the 50s and 60s, and yes, some of those are probably not suited for some of the cartridges of today. I'd probably choose a conical stylus for most of them. The Beatles reissues OP is talking about are nothing like these old mono records.
     
    JNTEX likes this.
  17. The Acid Mouse

    The Acid Mouse Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Shining your phone at the vinyl is an excellent tip - the amount of garbage that shows up with the LED light is an eye opener
     
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  18. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    Very true!
    I switched to a LED lamp to use with my RCM, and now every speck of dust and defect is easily seen
     
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  19. future pants

    future pants Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    ny
    hi!
    thanks everyone for your responses. i just changed my setup a couple of weeks ago to the new technics 2010GR with an ortofon bronze. repeated playings of other albums on my old/new gear didn't noise those albums up. so i don't *think* it's my hardware....
    so, one further detail for anyone who's into vinyl noise mysteries:
    -my old turntable had automatic carriage-return (that's typewriter terminology--i mean when the tonearm picks up and 'goes home' by itself). the new one doesn't (which surprised me when i found out, but it sorta brings me way back to my fisher price days. anyway...) so because my new player goes all the way to the inner groove, i noticed that the inner-most inner groove of these albums suffer from the noise like the middle and the beginning--on sides A and B naturally, and these grooves have never been tracked by a stylus before because my old player's stylus wouldn't get that far. so that's VERY WEIRD to me.
    these records were super quiet when i last played them months ago. this is probably the 3rd or 4th time i've played them. whatever happened to them happened to the played and unplayed parts alike. that's why i thought it might be a static thing. dry cleaning didn't generate much in terms of loose dust. maybe there's something in there 'deep'? can a new record get very dirty by just sitting in its cover?
     
  20. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    A wet clean will help.
    -Bill
     
  21. Burt

    Burt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kirkwood, MO
    Make sure humidity is reasonable around the record and equipment. If on a carpeted floor, spray the carpet with a watered down Downy fabric softener solution with a spritz bottle. Use a Staticmaster brush, or an ESD controlling ionizer fan nearby. Zerostat devices do some good.

    PVC vinyl is a high inherent ESD material but most black records have carbon black in them which is conductive. Clear or non-black records often have much more static.

    Of course it could be dirt or a scratched record too.
     
  22. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Weak because it's old? Get a new one. They work great. Are you sure you're using it correctly -- holding the record in free space, squeezing and releasing as slowly and evenly as possible ideally so that you don't get a bunch of clicks while you're squeezing, giving each side of the record a couple of squeezes?




    This sounds more to me like a tracking/setup problem than a dirty record problem -- are these new records that have only been played 3 or 4 times? This Ortofon Bronze is brand new? Who did the setup on the new turntable/cart? Are you sure it's accurate and correct? Have you checked the VTF with a gauge? Have you checked that your turntable is level?

    A proper wet cleaning of the records might help, as others have noted. But when you say a dry cleaning didn't help, what are you doing the dry cleaning with? Also is the stylus clean?
     
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  23. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    Just wanted to chime in on the Zerostat. It should have come with that attachment that goes on the front. Its a tester to see if your Zerostat is still working.
     
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  24. future pants

    future pants Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    ny
    hi chervokas--thanks for the suggestions/videos

    my milty is weak because something inside gave out such that you have to really work it to get it to click. i know you're not supposed to make it click, but something is amiss. anyway, i wrote to them about it, never got a reply, so i'm a little sour on milty to spend another $100 with them.

    the O-bronze is new. i did the set up with a protractor etc--but this is not to say i did it (or anything) perfectly. wouldn't alignment issues come across as more like channel crosstalk/phase issues?

    i haven't checked the VTF with a gauge, just with the counter-weight (it's about 2.7). the table is level.

    (i should have mentioned i checked these records on my old turntable and they're crackly too, but the crackle is not as clear cuz the old table ain't got O-bronze--plenty revealing, that O-bronze. not so plucky in the bass, but ZERO sibilance!) the dry clean is just with the 'brushes' from my bottle of last--not great for reducing static, but plenty good at gathering up the loose dust. maybe not as good as i think?
     
  25. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I think you mean 1.7g on the Bronze? Anyway, doesn't hurt to check it with a gauge, but if you are confident the counterweight is reasonably accurate it is probably fine. A digital gauge is cheap and worth having though.

    A slightly off alignment isn't going to cause large amounts of crackle that weren't there on the first play with the records. What can cause crackle is dust and dirt, old/worn/dirty styli, bad cleaning methods, etc. One of my friends has two cats and his records always look dirty, even if they are almost brand new or have been RCM cleaned. Cat hair gets everywhere and eventually onto the records. Further, if a record is charged with static it will pick up dust in the air and lying around or on nearby things.
     

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